Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pairing Time

 These Border hens are not quite ready to be paired. I have placed a nest in their cage with nesting material and they show no interest in it. I keep a vigilant watch and any who start building are immediately paired either in that cage (other hens moved) or she is moved. If I must move the building hen, I make sure it is to a cage where the nest is facing the same direction.  Once a hen is paired, I do not move her but once I had to move a number of setting hens and the most successful was when I moved them to a cage with the nests facing the same direction.

About a week ago, I added cooked cous cous and wheat products to their quinoa recipe as we are getting close to pairing. This week, I also added the Biodecken breeding novafood 1 1/2 cups to the huge tupperware bowl. I am also adding Miracle vitamin from Italy (called AA Miracle by ABBA Products US) as the amino acids it contains increase the number of eggs per clutch.

This hen passed the nest building test so she has been paired. I like to see the male immediately start his breeding song and the hen invite mating.

Once paired, you can introduce nestling food that contains hard boiled egg till the hen finishes laying her clutch. Then all nestling food is stopped until the first chick hatches. While sitting she gets a small dish of hulled hemp seed in addition to her seed mix.

Today, I made up a nestling food recipe shared by highly successful Border Breeder Paul Dee. He uses one cup ABBA green 92 dry nestling food (15% protein, 5% fat) to one hard boiled egg. Process whole egg with shell in the blender. Before serving, add 1/2 cup thawed green peas. (Thaw with hot water and drain.) I will be testing this recipe along with others on my Borders this season.

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